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The Scarlet Pimpernel

Saturday Night Fever

Camille Claudel

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From Jo Blackhead in NH:
I love your lyrics, thank you for your talent and efforts. A few that come to mind are: I'll Forget You - "And still you steal each breath I'm breathing from me!", A Woman In His Arms - "I have always walked with a storm in my heart"

What methods do you use to stimulate your creativity? How do you work past a creativity block?

Thank you for sharing your talents with the world.

I saw Camille Claudel in CT and was overwhelmed! It's a shame the "powers that be" have not seen fit to give it the audience it deserves. The story is powerful and the music and lyric wonderfully touching.

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Thanks for your kind comments, Jo. I, too, have always had a special affection for "And still you steal each breath I'm breathing from me, you overcome me," etc. I was quite in love with alliteration at the time and I loved such sounds as still-steal, breath-breathing... in "I'll Forget You."

Actually- hate to tell you- but I cut the line "I have always walked with a storm in my heart" from "Woman In His Arms." I wrote a whole new bridge to the song which I felt worked much better in terms of story development. And as much as I agree with you about "still you steal each breath," I have to disagree with you about Camille's "storm in my heart," which was one of those lines that I disliked more and more each time I heard it sung until I finally just cut it. It got to feeling corny to me, harlequin romance-y, like a picture of a beleaguered heroine striding across the windy moors and all that. It's interesting how some lyrics you write stand the test of time in your heart- each time you hear them, you think: "yes, that was just right"- and others turn sour on you. I had one whole song turn sour on me. It was from the original SP concept album- "There Never Was A Time I Didn't Love You"- I just grew to HATE that song and, as I told Frank, I didn't even like the music. But then there are songs like "Into the Fire" that I always love hearing. Currently I am most proud of "What's Never Been Done Before" from "Camille Claudel." But, alas, it looks like we'll never have a formal recording of that one.

Anyway, to answer your question- I've never given a lot of thought to the whole idea of "stimulating creativity." For the most part, I wake up each day with a kind of hunger or itch and can't wait to just sit down and work. It's been that way most of my life. There have been times when I've felt blank or over-tired- usually if I'm re-drafting something for the 3rd or 4th time. (First drafts are always exhilarating.) What I've tried to do at those times is to a) attack the song or scene from a wholly new angle or b) with lyrics- take out some of the old poems I've written in the past and look for phrases that might add new spark or set me off on a better tack for a verse or chorus. "Falcon in the Dive" is a phrase from a poem I wrote back in 1991 or 1992, and it gave me just the impetus I needed for that lyric. The most basic answer to your question is: when you're on a deadline, you just do it. Blood, sweat and tears. You keep hammering away until it's done because composer, director et al are waiting for the new draft. I think everybody works better on a deadline. You've got no choice. Creative blocks are much more difficult to deal with when you're in limbo. So, if you're a writer, Jo, and you ever find yourself blocked, just make somebody give you a deadline. Thanks for writing- Nan

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